Salary: Extremely competitive salary dependent on skills and experience
Location: Cape Town or Belfast
Start date: ASAP
Mahlatini Luxury Travel is looking for an experienced, proven African Product Manager to join its Cape Town or Belfast office. This is a fantastic opportunity for a seasoned travel professional wanting to join a leading luxury tour operator at its next pivotal stage of development.
Mahlatini Luxury Travel is an Africa safari specialist with a global, high-end customer base. Reflecting exceptional service levels, a reputation for expertise and a growing legion of loyal clients, Mahlatini has enjoyed strong growth and multiple industry award wins in recent years. This senior appointment is central to the realisation of Mahlatini’s ambitious five-year business plan.
The successful individual will have a demonstrable passion for travel, with at least 5 years’ proven track record as a Product Manager in a luxury African travel business environment. The successful candidate will be commercially focused, results-driven and very well-organised. A pioneering approach and a desire to capitalise on new market opportunities aligned to our company vision are also prerequisites. The role will require excellent communication skills to ensure effective relationships with internal sales and marketing teams; and to ensure optimally effective relationships with suppliers.
Reporting to the Company Directors, the Product Manager will be an integral member of the Management team.
- Build commercially effective supplier relationships including contracting and negotiating most competitive industry rates and rebates; and ensure these are effectively communicated to the sales and marketing teams
- Continually monitor and develop existing preferred product offering and ensure internal sales and marketing teams are briefed on all updates including special offers and exclusives
- Consistently review destination performance, industry trends and market demands to create effective product and sales strategies
- Identify best opportunities for new product development, aligned to our brand positioning, client preferences and latest marketing intelligence through to delivery of relevant product (and experience) launches, within and beyond the existing product portfolio
- Support travel experts with live product and pricing queries to improve sales conversion rates
- Manage client feedback process with suppliers to strengthen relationships and to deliver corrective action where required to maintain our exceptionally high client satisfaction rates
- Support the Sales Director with the management of overall product performance against set targets in relation to product mix, pricing, profit margins, service delivery etc.
- Ensure travel experts are fully briefed in all latest product developments, rates, special offers etc. and all relevant tourism legislation relating to our product portfolio
- Manage the educational trip calendar and ensure best opportunities are identified and matched against team’s knowledge gaps as part of the wider sales training programme
- Lead the internal training programme for all travel experts, including use of formal training resources relevant to our sector
- Enhance personal product knowledge through educational visits, attending trade shows and supplier presentations – sharing knowledge with internal teams
- Work with marketing team to ensure all product content requirements for marketing channels and communications are delivered accurately and timely
- Collate product, itinerary and pricing information for the website and assume responsibility for all product detail on mahlatini.com ensuring 100% currency and accuracy
- Support the development of joint venture marketing programmes with suppliers and tourism bodies
- Conduct ongoing market research and competitor analysis, implementing best practice insights to ensure our product offering stays ahead of the sector
- Support with the management of press trips and product information for editorial opportunities
SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- 5 years+ in a product manager role in an African travel environment
- Specific, in-depth destination knowledge across Southern & Eastern Africa
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Strong mentoring, coaching and people management skills
- Results-orientated with demonstrable commercial achievements
- Advanced levels of IT literacy
- Highly organised with strong time management skills and strong attention-to-detail
- Expert negotiation skills evidenced in positive commercial outcomes
- Educated to degree level in a relevant discipline
- Product management experience developed within the luxury safari sector
- Working knowledge of WETU and Web CMS systems
- Knowledge of destinations beyond Africa, but aligned to luxury wildlife / nature experiences
- A genuine passion for delivery of ‘best of breed’ customer experience
- Senior management experience, including delivery of long-term business plans
- A competitive salary (related to skills and experience)
- Opportunities for advancement within a dynamic and growing company
- Potential to travel and work between SA and UK offices
- Full-time (40 hours per week), based on standard office hours (flexible working arrangements can be negotiated)
- Regular travel for site inspections, educational trips and trade exhibitions
Please complete the online application form here.
Closing date 21st February 2020